BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Deal-loving shoppers usually have a lot to look forward to over Thanksgiving weekend, and the holiday season has arrived.
Book Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 for holiday deals starting with Black Friday deals and ending with Cyber Monday.
But as consumers prepare to spend this coming Monday at their favorite online trading venue, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has some safety reminders for eager shoppers to consider.
According to a press release on Sunday, the BBB advised:
Beware of False Ads and Fake Websites
Beware of fake ads and pay close attention to the URL in your browser.Scammers love to create lookalike sites that, at first glance, appear to belong to trusted
retailer.Make sure the website is spelled correctly and has the
Legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.
Only shop with trusted sellers on secure sites
Be wary of businesses you are not familiar with. Check out their BBB business profile, see ratings, and read customer reviews at BBB.org.Also, make sure that any pages you purchase
is safe. Secure URLs start with HTTPS://, not just HTTP://.
Keep your antivirus software up to date
Make sure you have antivirus software installed and up to date on your computer or mobile device. This will help you avoid unsafe websites and pop-up phishing scams.
Check prices before buying
Dozens of online retailers will claim to have the best prices on their items, but their offers can be misleading. Do your homework by comparing prices.
Take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs
Check your credit card rewards program for special point offers that may accrue on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season.Use loyalty programs to make purchases; many specialties
Retailers offer them.
use your credit card
It is best to shop online with a credit card. You can defend yourself against any improper charges with your credit card company in the future. Debit cards do not offer the same protection.
Know the return policy
Online store policies for Cyber Monday deals are subject to change. Please read the fine print before purchasing. Find out the return or exchange policy for the specific item you are purchasing. Note that stores may not allow returns on “final sale” or “clearance” items. Make sure to get a gift receipt so the recipient can return or exchange the item if necessary.
Beware of Phishing Scams
Busy schedules and increased buying volumes make it easier for people to miss out and fall victim to phishing scams. Be on the lookout for unsolicited emails, texts, phone calls or letters. These messages might claim that you have a free gift waiting for you, or that there was a delivery problem – all you need to do is click a link or provide your personal information. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious letters and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
Click here for more information from the BBB on how to shop safely this holiday season.